'Change everything, but your loves.'
For years now I have been struggling-striving to live by a philosophy of "be the change you want in the world." Or, "be the change I want in this world." It is not the thing to tell you what you should do, to explain how you should live more lightly on this earth; it is the thing to show you in words that do not judge (this, part of the struggle-strive-strife) what I am doing. While at moments I become thrilled with anger at others' behavior, I tell myself, be who you want them to be, some day, perhaps they will change.
But why? Why should you change? Other than the poet's exhortation; and perhaps in spite of the poet's exhortation, because often, it is our loves that must change the most. Our loves: foods that are sweet and crispy and convenient. Cars that are marvels of mechanization and slick-shiny-bright-fast. Perfect control over our indoor environment; cool-chilly in the heat of August, warm-cozy in the cold of winter. Ice in our bourbon anytime, shampoos erupting in suds, chemicals that instantly corrode a drain clog or slay sunny dandelions. Huge expanses of glow-green lawns. Asparagus in November; oranges in June. A bright brand on every plastic bag.
We should change, of course. Our loves are destroying us; we must find new loves, or we must recognize the loves swept into the dark corners of our brains by the persistent, jingly marketing messages of a thousand promising enterprises. And every day, now, I'm learning more about why at the newly-launched supereco. It's created by a team I love and have known for years and it's doing something no other site has done so well; combining magazine and encyclopedia, product reviews and biographies, news and how-tos, all with a keen eye toward our environment and a soft, soft hand on the judgment. It's a brilliant platform and a truly useful and beautiful site, and I'm thrilled-proud to be one of the founding writers.
I spend most of my time writing glossary entries and biographies and company profiles, which open my eyes every day to why, exactly, I should buy my wool yarn from small farmers; what Tom Vilsack is really all about; and how Seventh Generation is a company to whose products I'll remain loyal. I hope you'll spend a little time there, today, finding new loves, being your own quiet change.